It’s unusual, but, while walking through a cemetery in the United States, you sometimes come across funny tombstones: instead of praising the life of the deceased, you can read a recipe there. Are the stone recipes written on the cakes that the person buried loved the most, or were they baked for their friends or relatives? Often times, information is missing. Sometimes, only the ingredients are mentioned, but not the formula. This live, Rosie Grant, a 33-year-old American, saw it exclusively, before cooking it and posting the results on her TikTok account (ghostlyarchive).
Recipe for Spritz Cookies
It was during the Covid-19 pandemic that the 30-year-old, who at the time was finishing his studies as a librarian at the University of Maryland and working in the cemetery at the same time, started cooking these recipes. . In June 2021, he created a TikTok account for a university project where he talked about his work in the cemetery. “It was a bit strange but it was good, I hadn’t been in a cemetery long but it was interesting to see how it worked, how people were buried, things like that,” he said. he says To release.
From Washington, where he lives, he writes on the stones and graves he loves. Until he saw the first recipe for Spritz cookies on one of them. “Sometimes a tombstone mentions what a person loved in life, but this was just a jumbled list. I hadn’t cooked much before. I’m a sandwich type! he is laughing. But since we were always at home, I went in and thought it was an opportunity to try baking her special cakes.
On TikTok, success happens instantly, even if you fail to cook it right the first time. “People respond, they advise me to cook them for ten minutes, for example. I also bought molds to give them the right shape,” he smiled. Soon, Internet users were sending him other pictures of graves, both across the country and in Israel. “Most of the time, these are recent graves of women – the oldest ones are from the 1990s – and the recipes are pies, for example, blueberry, cakes… So it’s easier to find ingredients than if it was a 19th century cemetery, more Rosie Grant. But sometimes the instructions are wrong. There was a recipe for fudge on the grave that said to ‘cook until it looks like a soft ball, but what does that mean?.
Shown by Buzzfeed or the Kelly Clarkson Show, which is popular on his account and exceeds 100,000 subscribers. This has made it possible to create a community around this one habit.. “One time I couldn’t find a product and a subscriber sent it to me from New York, laughs Rosie Grant. Once, after a Buzzfeed story, a woman wrote to me to say that her mother had cooking utensils on her grave and she thought she was the only dingo who made them! It moved him, that others had the same idea, that his mother was part of something. She sent me her cheese dip recipe, and we talked a lot.
“Connecting with the past”
Sometimes Rosie goes to the cemetery alone, which she finds on Google, thanks to Twitter (“A man who lives in Washington, for example, wrote that his mother, who was buried in Louisiana, had a secret peach on her grave”. shows) or local media. He had already gone to New York or Utah. Next: San Francisco and Seattle, cake recipes. “It also happens that the family contacts me, but I don’t dare to call them myself, especially since their place of death is on the Internet, so I find that. In the future, I want to get to know people whose recipes I cook very well »he explains.
Cooking for the dead is what we all do, when we cook food from our grandmother or uncle. Rosie Grant brings guests to life. “I think it’s a good connection to the past.he said again. In the United States, we have a “good death” movement, which does not mean celebrating death as a holiday, but accepting it as a part of life.. A cemetery is a quiet place where you walk… I think it is good for a cemetery to be in contact with people.” If you see a secret on the grave, you can send it to Rosie Grant via her Instagram messenger: https://www.instagram.com/ghostly.archive/?hl=en